Monday, August 29, 2005

The many conclusions of Annie

I have been informed that I have been neglecting my civic duty to update this blog. So, apologies for the lack of updates over the past several weeks.

Last week I went and saw the Broadway touring production of Annie. I must say it was well done, the music as catchy as ever (especially with a live orchestra), and the cast was quite entertaining. The actress who played Miss Hannigan was absolutely hilarious, though had hair that made her look sorta like Ursula from the Little Mermaid... or Don King... but I digress. Of course, the girl who played Annie did yet another excellent job. And thank goodness that only for the last scene of the whole show does her hair have to look like your typical "Annie" style with the, how do you call it, curl-fro? It looks so much better short and straight like it was for the rest of the show. But I had a point for bringing this up... oh yes... the ending.

Now I've seen one other stage production of Annie a few years back at the 5th Avenue Theatre, as well as being subjected to the 1982 movie production of Annie, starring Carol Burnett at Miss Hannigan, probably hundreds of times since it was one of my sister's favorite movies to watch on video. Oh, yes, one of those that we taped off TV, so it was complete with the commercial breaks with the fabulous 80's commercials. Ah the memories. Anyway... it amazes me how they all have roughly the same plots, but they all ended differently. The one I'm probably most familiar with, the movie, is of course, dramatic to the point of insanity with Annie attempting to escape by climbing a drawn railway bridge... whatever. In hindsight, that's got to be the most superfluous use of drama I can ever imagine. The musical is much more sedate, and apparently true to the playwright's intentions. The bad people are caught without any excessive drama, only a bit of comedy. Annie isn't successfully abducted and there is not a city-wide manhunt to find her. Miss Hannigan is hauled off to jail as she rightfully should be for being a mean and evil fraud (in the movie, somehow she makes a miraculous return to good graces at the end). It just amazes me how everything tries to be over-dramatic... without needing to be so. I'm trying to remember exactly how it ended in the show I saw at the 5th Avenue, but I think it was just somewhere in between. More dramatic than the show I saw last week, but certainly less dramatic than the movie.

I'd say more, but I think that's about all I have to say about it. I guess I had expected that to be more interesting than it ended up, but that's OK. I guess I'm just out of shape after putting off my blog for so long.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Cards, cards and more cards

It's amazing how many cards people carry around with them. Membership cards, discount cards, identification cards, library cards, bank cards, useful information cards... they're all there. Everyone wants to give you a card, that you can easily stick in your wallet because it's "so convenient". Of course, the result I've found is that you end up with your wallet busting with cards that you actually use maybe once a year, if ever. Then, you've got a whole bunch of old cards that you just can't bring yourself to throw away (what if you lose your current card for some reason, you could use your expired one in the meantime!). So I have no less than about 25 of these cards in my desk drawer, because they're nice -- souvenirs perhaps -- and you just dont' want to throw them out.

What if there was a better way? I understand things like credit cards, you need those and you can't do anything about that. But what about having some sort of "Universal Membership Card" that can serve as all of your non-critical non-identification cards... you know, your library card, your AAA card, your Costco card, everything. You could have this UMC that had your name on it, and some generic UMC number. Then ANY company who wants to use it as their form of id card, can use it. Give it a barcode, magnetic stripe, the works... anything anyone could possibly want. The good thing for the user is that you can have the same membership number for a whole bunch of different things. The good thing for the companies who use it... they save money by not needing their own cards, all they have to do is link into this card that everyone has already! It's perfect!

Suddenly your 25 cards or so, drop down to maybe 5 or so (Your UMC, but along with that you still need your credit cards, official identification, etc. But not every Joe-membership-person who wants to give you a card.)

Hello world! I hereby place this idea in the public domain... someone run with it! But don't profit off my idea or I'll sue your pants off! Muahahahah!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Lame List - 8/3/2005

In deference to Almost Live, that classic Seattle television comedy institution of years gone by, I present a new recurring segment in the Universe of Synergy: The Lame List... or, "What's Weak This Week."

* TV end-of-season cliffhangers that make you wait 3 months to find out how it ends
* Professional darts
* Decks of playing cards that don't come with jokers, or just have one
* Kathy Griffin
* Styrofoam packing peanuts
* HTML code written with FrontPage
* Split infinitives
* Credit card offers that come in unmarked, non-descript envelopes
* European date formats (dd/mm/yyyy)
* Time zones
* Phone books (printed)
* Dial-up internet access
* Pennies

If you have a suggestion for The Lame List... the comment button is below. :)

Monday, August 01, 2005

Just when you think you've seen everything...

Just when you think you've seen everything there is to see on television, you flip past FSN and what do you see? The 2005 World Series of... Darts. Yes, you heard right... darts.

Now, I shouldn't be surprised, considering I've seen everything from Scrabble tournaments, to, well, the X-Games on ESPN... and anyone who knows me knows I can't watch enough curling on TV during the winter months (thank goodness for Canadian television, eh?). But seriously, I don't think I've seen anything quite as odd and disturbing as watching tournament darts. First, it obviously is being taped in a bar somewhere in Vegas. But nothing upscale about anything, looks pretty plain and ordinary. The people are sitting at long tables, and it's not like typical sports where everyone's glued to the action... in fact, most of the people here look like they couldn't care less about it. People continue on with their conversations... the bouncer obviously removed those officials from the golf course with their big "QUIET PLEASE!" signs. "Please, talk amongst yourselves."

But I think the most disturbing part is the announcer. First, he's standing not more than 2 feet directly to the side of the dart board. And I ain't talking about any of those plastic-tipped 'el cheapo' darts... we're talking sharp, pointy, pierce-your-skull type metal darts. Good thing these guys are the best darts players in the world, otherwise I might be a bit worried. Second, his voice sounds like that voiceover guy you hear on the commercials for the monster truck rallies at the Tacoma Dome (of course, where else?)... "SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!"... but with a British accent. Go ahead and try to talk like that right now... I'll wait... ...

... done yet? Good... yeah... that's what it sounds like. Very creepy.

OK, now that I've been watching this for way too long, I'll go ahead and find something else on. Let's see... The Sixth Sense? Naww. Fear Factor? I think not. West Wing reruns on Bravo? Who can beat that!? Anything's gotta beat darts.